Rethinking Materials: Industry Giants To Join Summit To Drive Circular Solutions For Plastics & Packaging

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Major brands from a cross-section of industries are set to come together for an upcoming summit focused on sustainable innovation in plastics and packaging. Taking place in May 19-20, the two-day virtual Rethinking Materials conference will see the likes of Unilever, PepsiCo and Colgate-Palmolive join sustainable startups and biotechs such as LanzaTech and Modern Meadow to discuss solutions across the entire value chain across multiple sectors, from fashion to food. 

As the world continues to grapple with intensifying climate change and environmental degradation, companies are now actively seeking new materials that can be integrated into their supply chains and replace the use of fossil fuel-based, non-recyclable and non-biodegradable plastics.

It’s a big task at hand that will require innovation on all levels – from coming up with scalable, cost-competitive yet functional replacements for conventional plastics, to accelerating industry adoption and integration, as well as facilitating solutions that can deal with the deluge of waste already being produced every single day. 

Rethinking Materials, an upcoming virtual summit that will be held between May 19-20, is set to discuss these very challenges, bringing together big CPG conglomerates in the food, personal care, fashion and even children’s toys industries to discuss how to make the switch to bio-based and circular solutions to eliminate plastic from their business. 

Checkerspot, a biotech using microalgae to produce performance materials, will be joining the conference. (Image Source: Checkerspot)

Over the course of two days, players such as Unilever, PepsiCo, Kellogg Company and Lego, are set to take the stage to discuss how they are integrating new technologies and partnering with companies that are coming up with climate-friendly solutions, such as non-plastic bio-nylons, or dissolvable packaging, and even animal-free fabrics grown using bacteria, fungi and yeast. 

These companies will be joined by speakers from leading suppliers of these materials, such as NatureWorks, Total Corbion, Amyris, Braskem and Genomatica, as well as startups like LanzaTech, Checkerspot, Footprint, Modern Meadow and SGMA, to deliberate the projects they are working on and the collaborations they are making across the sustainable plastics sector. 

Jennie Moss, founder of the summit organiser Rethink Events, who lists the Future Food-Tech series and World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit among its productions, believes the latest conference presents an opportunity for stakeholders across the value chain, from producers to tech providers and investors to dive into the latest developments in the space. 

Modern Meadow’s bio-fabricated cultured leather. (Source: Modern Meadow)

The Rethinking Materials summit is an opportunity to hear from a cross-section of industrial leaders on how they are working with technology companies to design out plastic waste, including testing and scale up of bio-based and circular solutions.

Jennie Moss, Founder, Rethink Events

“As brands commit to removing plastics from our environment, they need to assess which of the many innovative new materials on the market are most suited to their needs,” explained Moss.

“The Rethinking Materials summit is an opportunity to hear from a cross-section of industrial leaders on how they are working with technology companies to design out plastic waste, including testing and scale up of bio-based and circular solutions.”

Among some of the key topics earmarked for the summit include finding new routes for alternative materials to enter the market, how to integrate bio-based solutions into existing supply chains and developing novel materials that can functionally outperform existing ones.

Rethinking Materials will feature speakers from industry giants like Unilever. (Image Source: Dove / Unilever)

The absolute imperative, particularly at this time in our world, is for the global business community to accelerate and adopt long-term and enduring sustainability practices.

Renee Henze, Global Marketing & Commercial Development Director, DuPont Biomaterials

Rethinking Materials will also cover investment and partnership opportunities that will accelerate sustainable change, and take a look at end-of-life circular economy solutions, from chemical recycling to carbon capture. 

“The absolute imperative, particularly at this time in our world, is for the global business community to accelerate and adopt long-term and enduring sustainability practices,” said Renee Henze, global marketing and commercial development director at DuPont Biomaterials, who are sponsoring the summit. “[We are] excited to be part of this event to help progress innovations and actions along this journey.” 

Rethinking Materials will take place May 19-20, 10.00am EST. Early Bird tickets (ends April 2) available at US$195; Full ticket price at US$295. Special 10% discount offer for Green Queen Media readers with GQ10 (valid on top of the Early Bird rate). Register here


Lead image courtesy of Cuatrecasas.


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